Midwest Living Review
Dinosaur skeletons, ancient rocks, a wigwam and a two-story-high prehistoric coal forest are some of the attractions at the Burpee Museum of Natural History. The collection includes more than 70,000 specimens of plants, animals and rocks, including many that reveal the natural history of the Rock River Valley region around Rockford. The Burpee Museum's most famous resident is Jane, a 21-foot-skeleton of a juvenile T. rex unearthed after she lay buried in Montana for 66 million years. Scientists recently discovered Jane has bite marks on her snout, probably from another T. rex. Down in the Burpee Museum basement, visitors watch biologists and paleontologists work on fossils and other specimens. (Another dinosaur, a young triceratops named Homer, stands guard near the lab.) Upstairs, exhibits include First People, which shows how various Native American tribes lived. You can climb into a dugout canoe that's part of the display. The Burpee is one of three museums in the Riverfront Museum Park for the Arts & Sciences, along with the Discovery Center Museum and the Rockford Art Museum. Admission is charged.